This is the 60th annual report of the British Birds Rarities Committee, and the first to follow the IOC World Bird List (Gill & Donsker 2017) since its adoption by BOU as the basis for the British List. There are therefore a number of taxonomic changes this year.
There are once again more ‘firsts for Britain’ to report: Elegant Tern, Red-winged Blackbird and Masked Wagtail Motacilla alba personata, a distinctive form of White Wagtail. BOURC’s acceptance of Dalmatian Pelican and Eastern Orphean Warbler onto Category A – in mid September - came too late for this report, but those two will feature in the 61st report.
Species with ten or fewer records in this report include:
1st ‘Masked Wagtail’ and Red-winged Blackbird
1st–4th Elegant Tern
2nd Amur Falcon Falco amurensis
3rd Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni and Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens
3rd–5th ‘Baltic Gull’ L. f. fuscus
4th White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi, Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus and Siberian Blue Robin Larvivora cyane
5th Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis
6th American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla and Yellow Warbler S. aestiva
6th & 7th ‘Thayer’s Gull’ L. glaucoides thayeri and Two-barred Greenish Warbler P. plumbeitarsus
7th Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
8th Pacific Swift Apus pacificus and White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
8th & 9th Pacific Diver Gavia pacifica
8th–10th Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago delicata
9th Northern Harrier Circus hudsonius, White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus and Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata
Book reviews, News & comment and My patch complete the October issue.